EngagementImproving loyalty through flexible working

Improving loyalty through flexible working

More and more businesses are trialling new ways to increase employee incentives to help improve engagement rates and individuals wellbeing, however, traditional benefits such as paid holiday and an increase in pension contribution are what is keeping today's workforce keen and motivated. AXA PP Healthcare discusses the winning formula for keeping employees engaged.

Many may dream of avoiding long commutes by working from home, but how do businesses fare in the flexible working structure debate?

Flexible working is a theme that’s gained a lot of traction in recent years, but ultimately simply refers to a way of working to suit an employee’s needs.

This can mean making adjustments to start and finish times to allow an employee time to drop off/pick up a child from school, or even working from home where necessary.

This simple gesture can improve an employee’s loyalty to their employer, and make them feel more motivated. It can also have the added benefit of making them feel less stressed. And any improvement to their health and wellbeing is ultimately good for business.


How popular is it?

A lot of employers are starting to offer flexible working as a perk, but many are happier sticking with the traditional nine-to-five office hours approach. A Powwownow survey found that 47 per cent of employees don’t have a flexible working structure encouraged at their workplace.

However, any employee that has worked for the same employer for 26 weeks is eligible to request a flexible working structure – and employers are obliged to deal with applications for flexible working in a reasonable manner.

Is it better to be flexible?

Flexible working acknowledges that employees have a life outside of the office, and a nine-to-five job plus a commute can take up a considerable portion of the day.

A Powwownow survey also found that almost 45 per cent of people spend over an hour commuting a day, which can lead to increased stress levels – 66 per cent of commuters say they feel stressed or flustered at least once a week. Flexible working can enable employees to travel at off-peak times or avoid dreaded journeys altogether.

Parents and carers often need a more flexible approach to working hours to allow them to fulfil all of their obligations, and many other employees appreciate the flexibility simply as a perk. In fact, 67 per cent of employees wish they were offered flexible working.

It can also be a handy tool when it comes to recruitment and staff retention – 70 per cent of respondents to the survey claimed that being offered a flexible working structure makes a job more attractive to them. In addition, 30 per cent of people would rather have flexible working than a pay rise – so it can be a cost-effective way to make employees feel valued at work.

Naturally, some managers will always be concerned that employees are more likely to be idle when they are not under close scrutiny. However, 58 per cent of people believe that working away from the office would actually make them feel more motivated.

What's Hot

Learning to win the talent war: how digital marketing can develop its people

Whitepaper | Talent Development Learning to win the talent war: how digital marketing can develop its people

1w

Learning to win the talent war: how digital market...

This report documents the findings of a Fireside chat held by ClickZ in the first quarter of 2022. It provides expert insight on how companies can ret...

View resource
HRD Roundtable Report: Strategies For Re-Engaging The Hybrid Workforce

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Strategies For Re-Engaging The Hybrid Workforce 5 May 2022

2w

HRD Roundtable Report: Strategies For Re-Engaging ...

We know hybrid working is here to stay, forcing many organisations to experiment with innovative and creative strategies from 4-day working weeks to u...

View event
HRD Roundtable Report: Making it ‘Worth It’ – What We Need to Reward, Engage and Retain

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Making it ‘Worth It’ – What We Need to Reward, Engage and Retain 3 March 2022

3w

HRD Roundtable Report: Making it ‘Worth It’ – What...

We know the pandemic has caused many people to revaluate their careers and relationships with work and have been seeing the impact in global trends in...

View event
Dave Ulrich: How can business and HR leaders simplify complexity?

Leadership Development Dave Ulrich: How can business and HR leaders simplify complexity?

4m Dave Ulrich

Dave Ulrich: How can business and HR leaders simpl...

HR thought leader Dave Ulrich outlines ways leaders can deal with complexity in an increasingly busy world, including how to think critically and turn...

View article
HRD Roundtable Report: Using HR Data to Inform Organisational Decision Making

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Using HR Data to Inform Organisational Decision Making 5 May 2022

2w

HRD Roundtable Report: Using HR Data to Inform Org...

Historically, HR hasn’t been as effective as it could be in sharing and communicating data with wider teams. It’s paramount that we remove the self-in...

View event
Digital transformation investment grows but critical skills gaps remain - Coursera report

Digital HR Digital transformation investment grows but critical skills gaps remain - Coursera report

4m Leah Belsky

Digital transformation investment grows but critic...

Covid-19 has accelerated the rate of digital learning on a global scale. Coursera's latest report provides an update on employee proficiency in a numb...

View article
Wellbeing in the hybrid workplace: how to successfully drive engagement

Employee Engagement Wellbeing in the hybrid workplace: how to successfully drive engagement

4m Alara Basul | Sponsored

Wellbeing in the hybrid workplace: how to successf...

Remote working has impacted the way we communicate as a workforce, but striking the right balance between creating an engaged workforce and a successf...

View article
How to create a company culture capable of empowering the modern workforce

Culture How to create a company culture capable of empowering the modern workforce

4m Alara Basul | Sponsored

How to create a company culture capable of empower...

While new working patterns that emerged from the pandemic have earned a permanent spot in the workplace, creating a purpose-driven culture based ...

View article
WATCH: Connection and collaboration in a hybrid workplace

Leadership Learnings WATCH: Connection and collaboration in a hybrid workplace

4m Amy Kirkham

WATCH: Connection and collaboration in a hybrid wo...

Alison Noon-Jones, VP of People & Culture at Leidos UK & Europe, shares how crucial employee engagement and participation is when shaping the people s...

View article
Turbulence ahead: Why it’s time to be bold in your leadership

Leadership Development Turbulence ahead: Why it’s time to be bold in your leadership

4m Terence Mauri

Turbulence ahead: Why it’s time to be bold in your...

HRD thought leader and Hack Future Lab founder Terence Mauri sets out why the biggest risk to leadership is not turbulence itself, but leading with ye...

View article

What about the drawbacks?

One drawback to the scheme comes in if an employee cannot be trusted to work off-site. Managing home workers can be tricky, and indeed around 56 per cent of people in the survey believe that managers need to learn skills to manage a remote workforce. Of course, if an employee is responsible for their own workload, the incentive is there to get everything done on time.

Another drawback is if an employee is absolutely required in the office. For example, IT support, or a member of a team that often works collaboratively might be able to achieve more from the office. However, there are lots of tools available to help employees work remotely, such as web conferencing, online messaging and cloud applications for file sharing.

Overall, there are so many potential advantages to a flexible working structure that it’s worth considering. Most employers would be glad to see an improvement in their employees’ health and wellbeing, if not for their sake then for the business – reduced stress levels and increased motivation is good news for the bottom line.

How can you support home-based workers?

Help get them set up in their home

Visit your employees and make sure that they have a good working space, with a desk and chair set up to ensure they’re sitting comfortably and their posture is right. You should also ensure they have the easy access to resources such as technology, IT support and HR.

Keep up the communication

To help identify wellbeing issues and offer the appropriate support to home-workers, there must be sufficient lines of communication in place. Make sure that you book in those face-to-face meetings that virtual meetings can’t always replace. Identify good work that they are doing and highlight it to others; recognition is a positive motivation. For employees that can feel isolated and miss the social interaction, you could also set up an instant messaging service which would support real-time communication with others in the business.

You must get the balance of communication right; enough that employees feel connected but not so much that they feel watched. Remember though, some people need more communication than others, so get the balance right for each person.

Offer the appropriate training

Working at home comes with its own stresses, so offer employees training on how to handle these. This could include online training on issues such as how to balance work and family when your work is your home.

Set up an Employee Assistance Programme

Give your home-based workers easy access to support by setting up an EAP. It can be trickier to identify issues and know when to step in with support when your employees work remotely, but an effectively run EAP can help you with this and provide ways of enabling these employees to deal more effectively with the pressures in their lives.

Comments are closed.

What's Hot

Learning to win the talent war: how digital marketing can develop its people

Whitepaper | Talent Development Learning to win the talent war: how digital marketing can develop its people

1w

Learning to win the talent war: how digital market...

This report documents the findings of a Fireside chat held by ClickZ in the first quarter of 2022. It provides expert insight on how companies can ret...

View resource
HRD Roundtable Report: Strategies For Re-Engaging The Hybrid Workforce

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Strategies For Re-Engaging The Hybrid Workforce 5 May 2022

2w

HRD Roundtable Report: Strategies For Re-Engaging ...

We know hybrid working is here to stay, forcing many organisations to experiment with innovative and creative strategies from 4-day working weeks to u...

View event
HRD Roundtable Report: Making it ‘Worth It’ – What We Need to Reward, Engage and Retain

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Making it ‘Worth It’ – What We Need to Reward, Engage and Retain 3 March 2022

3w

HRD Roundtable Report: Making it ‘Worth It’ – What...

We know the pandemic has caused many people to revaluate their careers and relationships with work and have been seeing the impact in global trends in...

View event
Dave Ulrich: How can business and HR leaders simplify complexity?

Leadership Development Dave Ulrich: How can business and HR leaders simplify complexity?

4m Dave Ulrich

Dave Ulrich: How can business and HR leaders simpl...

HR thought leader Dave Ulrich outlines ways leaders can deal with complexity in an increasingly busy world, including how to think critically and turn...

View article
HRD Roundtable Report: Using HR Data to Inform Organisational Decision Making

Roundtable Report HRD Roundtable Report: Using HR Data to Inform Organisational Decision Making 5 May 2022

2w

HRD Roundtable Report: Using HR Data to Inform Org...

Historically, HR hasn’t been as effective as it could be in sharing and communicating data with wider teams. It’s paramount that we remove the self-in...

View event
Digital transformation investment grows but critical skills gaps remain - Coursera report

Digital HR Digital transformation investment grows but critical skills gaps remain - Coursera report

4m Leah Belsky

Digital transformation investment grows but critic...

Covid-19 has accelerated the rate of digital learning on a global scale. Coursera's latest report provides an update on employee proficiency in a numb...

View article
Wellbeing in the hybrid workplace: how to successfully drive engagement

Employee Engagement Wellbeing in the hybrid workplace: how to successfully drive engagement

4m Alara Basul | Sponsored

Wellbeing in the hybrid workplace: how to successf...

Remote working has impacted the way we communicate as a workforce, but striking the right balance between creating an engaged workforce and a successf...

View article
How to create a company culture capable of empowering the modern workforce

Culture How to create a company culture capable of empowering the modern workforce

4m Alara Basul | Sponsored

How to create a company culture capable of empower...

While new working patterns that emerged from the pandemic have earned a permanent spot in the workplace, creating a purpose-driven culture based ...

View article